TurboFil Packaging Machines LLC, an equipment specialist dedicated solely to the design and development of liquid filling and assembly machines, has introduced an assembly and vial filling machine for unidose liquid nasal devices, which are increasingly seen as an attractive alternative to injections for the self-administration or emergency administration of accurate drug dosages.

Available in automatic or semi-automatic setups, the company’s UDS Rotary Vial Filling & Assembly Workstation increases both throughput and flexibility through its broad array of station separation and inspection options.

For automatic operation, a racetrack format with vibratory product feeding affords speeds up to 80-100 pieces per minute. For semi-automatic settings, the system utilizes an operator-loaded indexing star wheel with pucks, producing up to 30 pieces per minute. After using an air jet and vacuum system to clean each vial, the machine’s initial inspection station checks for cracks. To perform this step, vials are raised and rotated, allowing for 360-degree high-resolution camera inspection.

Next, vials are filled via a precision valve-less ceramic piston filler, at a station incorporating a no container/no fill sensor. A stopper is then inserted using a pick-and-place module featuring a burping tube to allow air escape during placement. Next, nasal actuators are introduced either via a secondary starwheel (semi-automatic version) or in-line via pick and place (automatic). In either setup, the actuators are inspected to make sure cannulae are present and straight, then automatically placed around the vials, which are pressed into place with an automatic tamping device. Finally, the machine ejects finished unidose delivery systems into a collection bin. Options are available to further automate the starwheel system with automatic component placement.

The machine is both precise and flexible, and its dosing prowess has an accuracy tolerance of +/-0.5 percent on a fill volume of 100-125ml. Stopper position can be determined down to 0.3 millimeters, ensuring device specifications are met. Additional inspection options also are available, including a post-fill station that verifies fill volume, piston height and unwanted fluid between piston ribs. Other optional stations can check for vial rim cracks following stopper tamping, as well as canula presence and straightness prior to actuator placement.

To bolster sterility, the unit’s product contact parts are composed of ceramic, stainless and Teflon. It is controlled via a 7” touchscreen HMI with recipe control and the ability to turn on or off any station or inspection as required for the particular application.